|The Woman whose Baby was sold|
A 20-year-old woman from Ebonyi State is accusing her husband of conniving with a medical doctor to sell off her one-day-old baby. Charity Nwuzo went to a hospital (names withheld by us) to seek medical care like other normal pregnant women, but little did she know that she was in the den of baby sellers. She has delivered a baby boy, but she never came out of the hospital with her new bundle of joy.
The story of Charity was a very pathetic one. Mrs. Ngozi Ibeneme, a neighbour to the victim, said Charity endured unbearable pains before and while giving birth to the baby. Charity claimed she gave birth to a bouncing baby boy in the said hospital only for her to wake up and discover, to her chagrin, that her new baby was nowhere to be found.
She subsequently raised the alarm, which attracted passers-by to the hospital. The incident was thereafter reported at the police station. It was gathered that young Charity got pregnant for her boyfriend who absconded to an unknown place afterwards.
She later intimated her boss, one Emma (surname withheld) who she was working for as a salesgirl at Nkpor, of the development. He allegedly offered to marry her and assist her in her condition.
It was Emma, Charity’s former employer, now husband, that allegedly took the young woman to the hospital located at Owerri-Ebo Street, in the commercial city of Onitsha where Charity registered for antenatal care.
However, the unexpected happened after the young expectant mother allegedly gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. Instead of savouring the joy of motherhood, especially since her baby would no longer be called a bastard, Charity’s employer turned husband allegedly conspired with the medical director of the hospital to sell the one-day-old baby.
Narrating her ordeal, the victim disclosed that an ultra-sound test conducted on her by the doctor detected that she had a baby boy, which she said increased the joy of her supposed husband who later got the child sold off. “When the doctor conducted an ultra-sound test on me which detected that I was bearing a baby boy, he told my husband. And my husband was very happy. He even increased the love and care he had for me. I thought I had finally arrived and that at least my baby will no longer be called a bastard since somebody had agreed to be his father.
“Then, one day, I was in a ward in the hospital when a woman dressed in Nigerian Immigration uniform entered and met the doctor. I saw them together, and I overheard them discussing something like buying or selling a baby boy for the sum of N600, 000.
Later in the evening of that same day, I was invited into the theatre where I was held and forced down by the wife of the doctor, my husband, and some other people that I could not identify. Then the doctor injected me and I fell asleep immediately. After that, I was operated upon.
“My unborn baby boy of seven months and three weeks old was removed and sold to the immigration officer. When I recovered and requested to see my baby, I was given N100, 000.
“But I didn’t collect the money. I rejected it and insisted on having my baby because if I should go home without my baby, my people who were already aware of my pregnancy would reject me. When they realized that I was adamant and still refused to collect the N100, 000, they pushed me out of the hospital with the caesarean wire still in my stomach. They also seized my handset to stop me from communicating with people.
“It was one Miss Chika Ejiofor who took me to her house, and later introduced me to a lawyer, Mr. Akonanya who offered to give me free legal services.” Meanwhile, policemen attached to “D” Department of the State CID, Awka, swooped into action and arrested the said medical director, his wife and the supposed husband of the victim.
According to a police source who pleaded anonymity, the doctor was arrested together with his wife, and five other members of the syndicate. One of those arrested was a teacher at the Central Primary School, Umuoji in Idemili Local Government area. They were accused of taking part in the criminal buying and selling of newly born babies.
The suspects, who are currently helping the police in their investigation, are accused of belonging to a very powerful syndicate that specializes in stealing babies and harbouring young pregnant teenagers to procreate for the purpose of selling their babies to wealthy individuals.
They were also accused of housing prostitutes, impregnating them for the purpose of rearing babies for sale, organizing maternity services for pregnant women and selling newly born babies without the approval of the mothers, among other accusations levelled against them.
The medical doctor, who was described as the leader of the syndicate, was also accused of running a maternity home at Amaorji village, Umuoji in Idemili Local Government area of Anambra State where he allegedly employed many staffers that assisted him in transacting the illicit business.
The police source further revealed that the arrest of the medical doctor and the smashing of the dangerous baby stealing syndicate were made possible following a petition to the Anambra State Police Commissioner, Mr. Ballah Nasarawa dated September 17.
The petition was written by Mr. Afam Akonanya of the Obochie Chambers, Awka. He’s also the counsel to Charity Nwuzo. Akonanya, in the petition, had alleged that the medical doctor and his group were committing pathetic, awful and untoward criminal acts, including the sale of a newly delivered baby boy. He had urged the police authorities not to play with the petition.
The lawyer said in the petition that to placate his client, the suspects must return the exact baby boy that Charity delivered in the hospital. “The act is barbaric and unless these issues are treated based on its merit, we shall explore legal means to get justice,” Akonanya had noted in the petition. When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ralph Uzoigwe, confirmed the arrests. He said, however, that he was yet to receive full details of the incident.